Michael Conlan to fight Adeilson Dos Santos in Belfast

‘He has challenged for the world title . . . and I believe it’s a test I am ready for’

Michael Conlan hasn’t boxed in his home city of Belfast since December 2010. Photograph: Inpho

Michael Conlan hasn’t boxed in his home city of Belfast since December 2010. Photograph: Inpho

 

Ireland’s former amateur world champion Michael Conlan will face 26-year-old former world title challenger Adeilson Dos Santos in his homecoming fight on Saturday June 30th in the Odyssey Arena in Belfast.

All but one of Conlan’s seven previous professional bouts have been staged in the United States, his third win over Jarret Owen taking place in the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. Conlan’s meeting with the Brazilian will be the featherweight’s first 10 round fight and represents another step towards a coveted professional world title belt.

The Belfast boxer controversially announced his retirement from amateur boxing at the Rio Olympics with a tirade against the IOC and amateur boxing, which he called “corrupt” following a bad decision against Russia’s Vladmir Nikitin in the quarter-final stage. All 36 referees who officiated in Rio were subsequently suspended.

Conlan hasn’t boxed in his home city since December 2010, when he lost a decision in the Ulster Senior Championships.

“I have been there watching Carl Frampton box many times and often pictured myself in that ring being cheered on,” said Conlan of boxing in Belfast.

“Dos Santos has competed at the highest level and this fight will be my toughest fight as professional to date. He has challenged for the world title, made Kid Galahad work, but I believe it’s a test I am ready for.

“At this stage it’s all about progression and learning. I believe it’s the right step at the right time.”

Dos Santos, 26, represents a significant challenge for the talented Conlan. He has a record of 19 wins, 15 of those KOs and four defeats, two of which have come in his last three fights. He also fought for the World Boxing Organisation World Super Bantamweight Title in 2017, losing to Jessie Magdaleno by KO.

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